Another Kingsport resident, who allegedly dumped the body from a vehicle after a fatal overdose, is currently held in the Sullivan County jail.
Newberry County Sheriff James Foster said a coroner has identified the body as Keith Richard Konkol, 37, who most recently lived in Kingsport. The body was found June 14 by a power line crew near I-26, within the Sumter National Forest.
Foster said Konkol was returning from Florida with Jeremiah Shane Fields, of 1100 Stonegate Road, apartment B-11. Investigators believe they purchased prescription drugs, then began driving back under the influence of oxycodone and Xanax.
Foster says they pulled off the road to sleep, with only Fields awaking. When he discovered Konkol was dead, he allegedly, "panicked and dragged the body into the woods and returned to Tennessee."
The Newberry County Sheriff's Office says they've learned Konkol was "heavily involved" in fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs. For the dumping of Konkol's body, they've issued an arrest warrant for Fields on charges of desecrating human remains.
Foster emphasized there is no indication that Fields caused Konkol's death.
Field's was apprehended in Sullivan County on a probation violation, according to Foster, and held in the jail in Blountville. Times-News requests to the SCSO for information on his arrest date, and whether the alleged parole violation is related to the trip with Konkol, have yet to be returned.
Foster said investigators connected Fields to the incident after thoroughly retracing Konkol's final days and conducting numerous interviews.
Identifying the body also proved difficult. Feeling the individual was likely to have a previous record, they conducted extensive searches of fingerprint databases, to no avail. Foster said investigators were, "literally desperate," leading them to send prints from the body, "to every law enforcement division in the southeast."
On July 15, Newberry County police finally received a hit on the prints, from a previous arrest of Konkol in Florida.